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Old 04-17-2007, 09:52 PM
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Default Horned Tomato Worms



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I was doing an experiment with some tomato plants. One morning I went outside and this little worm had stripped my plants.

If you see leaves that are missing, or leaves that look like they are being eaten, look for these Horned Tomato Worms. They are green and will blend in with the plants.

The horn is for show and will not harm you.
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Old 04-17-2007, 11:18 PM
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Have not seen one in years, since I was a kid.
these things will strip your plants in a very short time, if not eraticated.
I do not remember what my father used too kill the, but I will ask him and get back too you.
If he remembers, you know, Old Guy Syndrome.
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Old 03-12-2019, 12:26 AM
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Had some of these horned tomato worms last year. Picked them off and fed them to the grandkids' turtles. Turtles loved them !

Wonder if chickens or guineas like them.
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Old 03-12-2019, 12:50 AM
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They fluoresce and can be easily seen at night with a UV light. I just snip them with some scissors, dont have anything that would eat them. They tend to be seasonal where the eggs are laid during the last few weeks of spring. They take about a week to hatch and grow quickly and can take down a plant in a few days.

Tomatoes, bell peppers, potatoes, and egg plant can be heavens for them. Mostly I have only seen them on my tomatoes though.

Marigolds can repel horn worms so plant them in and around your tomatoes.

I have also never seen them in my cherry tomatoes??
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Old 03-12-2019, 02:59 AM
WilliamAshley WilliamAshley is offline
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I wonder if they taste like tomato?


https://youtu.be/ffxWEfMzwzA?t=262
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Old 03-12-2019, 03:04 AM
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Let the chickens take em out of the garden for yah
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Old 03-12-2019, 03:06 AM
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catfish bait.
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Old 03-12-2019, 03:23 AM
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Lol, Lindalou resurrected a 12 year old thread.
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Old 03-12-2019, 05:19 AM
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I wouldn't call them little though. By Wyoming standards they are a huge bug, at least as big as your pinkie finger. I haven't seen one since we moved to a slightly harsher climate.
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Old 03-12-2019, 06:27 AM
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I will get them from year to year. They will destroy a big tomato plant overnight. I go out and try to pull as many as I can find off and pitch them on the ground. The birds around here make short work of them. I find them hiding by day under the broader leafs so that's a good place to check. I tried every non-pesticide youtube recipe to eradicate them I could find but in the end nothing worked. In my experience all of those ultra hot pepper spray mixes didn't even slow them down. I push the button and nuke them with pesticides each year I find them now to save the plants after their path of destruction. I don't prefer to use the pesticides but sometimes it's necessary and I just make sure to wash the tomatoes off really good before eating them.
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Old 03-12-2019, 06:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeavyHauler View Post
Lol, Lindalou resurrected a 12 year old thread.
I saw this thread and thought, "How the heck could anyone have hornworms this early in the season?"

Then I noticed the date on the opening post...
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Old 03-12-2019, 09:24 AM
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It may be an old post but I learned something new, about finding those boogers at night with a UV light. Sometimes they are soooo hard to find! I usually look for leaves that have a lot of worm poop on them and then search the area directly above it. If I'm lucky I find it!

Again, good old bT spray (DiPel or Thuricide) is a tomato growers friend. I use it at the first sign of hornworms and again two weeks later to get any hatchlings. That usually takes care of it for most of the summer.
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Old 03-12-2019, 09:37 AM
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I made a mix of water, dawn soap. Then made a tea out of red pepper powder. mixed them them together in a spray bottle. Sprayed the plants and those horn worms started flopping like crazy. Made it easy to find them. This is a brew I used in the past on veggie plants. I didn't even know There were any horn worms till I sprayed them.
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Old 03-12-2019, 10:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LindaLou View Post
Had some of these horned tomato worms last year. Picked them off and fed them to the grandkids' turtles. Turtles loved them !

Wonder if chickens or guineas like them.
They love the ugly buggers.
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Old 03-12-2019, 11:28 AM
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I use BT or seven dust. last year we had a few and I just picked them off the plants and threw them to the emus. Emus like them but they are too clumsy to release in the garden. My hunting dog keeps the chickens and squirrels out of the garden
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Old 03-12-2019, 11:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LindaLou View Post
Had some of these horned tomato worms last year. Picked them off and fed them to the grandkids' turtles. Turtles loved them !

Wonder if chickens or guineas like them.
yes, yes and yes turkeys love em also

great fish bait tew boot
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Old 03-12-2019, 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by HeavyHauler View Post
Let the chickens take em out of the garden for yah
knot letting the birds in my garden during planting/growing season

that being said, we don't plant maters and peppers in the ground anymore, thanks to nematodes being imported from nursery (bonnie) plants

redneck topsie turvies and buckets are the way to go anywho

ymmv of course
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Old 03-12-2019, 11:44 AM
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Neem oil got rid of mine. They have several different stages of growth. The green color is the last stage. I usually look for the droppings. I didn't know they glowed under UV light.
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Old 03-12-2019, 01:16 PM
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This isnt my pic but that is the contrast I get..... I made a UV light way back when with LEDs from radio shack and a converted dollar store flashlight.

Now you can find them on amazon for a couple of dollars.

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Old 03-12-2019, 02:23 PM
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Guess I should knock on wood! I have lived at this location 17 years and not once seen any tomato hornworms. Why, I don't really know, cause I have had them nearly eat my tomatoes up in past gardens.

Manduca quinquemaculata, the five-spotted hawkmoth, is a brown and gray hawk moth of the family Sphingidae. The caterpillar, often referred to as the tomato hornworm, can be a major pest in gardens; they get their name from a dark projection on their posterior end and their use of tomatoes as host plants. Wikipedia
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